First Look Blog

Articles written by the First Look team.


Published by Ken Nunes on 16/09/2018

April 2018 epss 01

Schools in Johannesburg are generally attributed one of the following two tariff regimes by the Municipality:

BUSINESS TARIFF: The Municipality defines a Business Tariff Consumer as: “...applicable to supply consumption capacities not exceeding 100 kVA…”

LARGE CONSUMER: Large Consumer tariff is defined as: “...applicable to Business consumers, with supply capacities exceeding 100 kVA”. 

KVA relates to the electrical capacity being supplied to the customer, where the higher consumption implies higher infrastructure costs (cables, switchgear, etc). 

Almost ALL Primary Schools are attributed the Business Tariff, whilst the vast majority of Secondary/High Schools are attributed the Large Consumer.

The tariff regime is (surprisingly) NOT referenced on Municipal invoices, although Page 2 details the main difference between the two Tariffs, where the example above details costs relating to a Large Consumer:

Energy charge 5,673.000 kWh @ R1.1691 (Billing Period 2018/04) = R6,632.30

Demand charge Energy charge 70.000 KVA @ R174.67 - R12,226.90

NOTE: For schools attributed the Large Consumer Tariff, it is important to verify the cost difference between the KVA charge and the kWh Charge. In the example above, there is an almost 100% difference and where this difference is so pronounced, the tariff regime attributed should be considered incorrect.

The average cost per kWh (Total Cost divided by Total kWh consumption) the Average cost per kWh is R4,19/kWh, whilst under the correct Electricity Tariff, should be nearer R2,50/kWh in Johannesburg in 2017.

Where schools are on the LARGE CONSUMER TARIFF, and the KVA charge has been the minimum applicable 70KVA for the past 12-months or more, it is very likely that the school is on the wrong tariff regime and a simple change in tariff could result in a saving of at least 40% on your Electricity costs, above R100,000 per annum. This is often referred to as a "non technical saving".

One of the services provided by Suntricity is to analyse and resolve any Municipal Tariff Regime issues: